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All four series in both the Original Series and Re-imagined Series continuities use detailed opening credits sequences that serve to give the viewer a sense of the characters and plot.
The title sequence of the Original Series does not change in its 24-episode run. Each episode begins with:
- A brief start of the episode that often ends with a pending crisis, commonly known as a "teaser."
- The gathering of battlestars near Cimtar for the expected Cylon peace conference.
- The Cylon attack on Caprica, battlestars, and their Vipers,
- A series of main and supporting character close-ups with the actors' names, such as Lorne Greene and Richard Hatch.
- The gathering of the civilian ships to form Galactica's new charges.
After the commercial break, the Original Series would show additional credits of secondary and supporting characters such as Noah Hathaway and Tony Swartz before the episode began.
- The opening sequence is almost like the Original Series with the exception that characters' close-up don't appear.
- The opening narration was read by Lorne Greene:
- The great ship Galactica, our home for these many years. We have endured the wilderness of space. And now we are near the end of our journey. We have at last found Earth.
The Re-imagined Series opening credits are similar in form to its predecessor:
- A prologue is shown with title cards saying "The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan."
- The font used for the title cards is Bank Gothic Medium.
- In Season 1 this also includes several cards saying "They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human." because of the emphasis on Boomer as a sleeper agent. It also said "They rebelled. They evolved." instead of "They Evolved. They Rebelled". " The episodes 33 has no prologue.
- The first half of Season 4, from "He That Believeth in Me" through "Revelations," is different with the title cards saying "Twelve Cylon models. Seven are known. Four live in secret. One will be revealed." In "Sometimes a Great Notion", the line is modified to read, "Twelve Cylon models. Seven are known. Four live in the fleet. One will be revealed." A prologue did not appear in "A Disquiet Follows My Soul," "The Oath," or "Blood on the Scales."
- In "No Exit," a completely new prologue appears, stating: "This has all happened before, and it will happen again. The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. Then they vanished. Forty years later they came back. They evolved. 50,298 human survivors hunted by the Cylons. Eleven models are known. One was sacrificed." A prologue did not appear in "Deadlock," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Islanded in a Stream of Stars," or "Daybreak."
- The series title appears, with a voice over by one of the series' actors: "Previously on Battlestar Galactica...". This voice changes from episode to episode.
- A brief series of past scenes appear from previous episodes to impart important past events to new viewers
- The episode begins with a teaser prologue often showing a pending crisis.
- The credits quickly show Caprica City, Galactica and the start of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies with the nuclear bombing of Caprica, and the swearing-in of Laura Roslin on board Colonial One. During this sequence, the main actors' names are shown.
- The civilian Fleet is shown with Galactica within it.
- The survivor count is typically shown from Season 2 onwards with the words "... survivors in search for a home. Called Earth."
- The credits conclude with a short (approximately 10-15 seconds) sequence of flashes of scenes from the upcoming episode. This is overlayed with fast-paced music, culminating at a crescendo. At the end the Colonial seal is displayed in Season 1 and the normal Battlestar Galactica logo from Season 2 on.
- This part is missing at the beginning of Season 2, but returns in "The Farm". It's also missing from "Daybreak".
- After the commercial, the episode begins, with the names of guest stars being shown.
- The USS Enterprise from Star Trek can be seen as part of the Fleet in the opening credits, comically inserted by Zoic in the Miniseries.
- Each season's credits includes some different scenes to reflect the ongoing story line.
- The curtailed opening sequences that run from "Scattered" through "The Farm" were part of an attempt by the SciFi Channel to generate more advertising revenue by allotting more time for commercials during the 2005-2006 seasons of its three flagship series, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis . The marketing strategy recieved an overwhelmingly negative response from fans of all three series and SciFi later restored the full versions of all three openings, with Battlestar’s full opening returning well in advance of either Stargate series's .
- The first four Season 3 episodes are markedly different. Changes include an alternative sequence of scenes involving the captives on New Caprica, the remains of the spaceborne Fleet that escapes with Galactica, and a missing survivor count. Instead of the survivor count, the words "The human race. Far from home. Fighting for survival." are displayed. The opening credits return to their previous conventions (albeit with changed scenes) by the episode "Collaborators".
- Because Kara Thrace "died" in "Maelstrom", Katee Sackhoff's name is omitted from the title credits for the remainder of the season.
- In the last two episodes of Season 3, "Crossroads, Part I" and Part II, the "Previously on..." voice over and the main credits were cut due to time constraints.
Unlike the previous series, Caprica's opening features no voiceovers and almost no on-screen credits. It also uses no scenes filmed for the series, instead relying entirely on a montage of stylized images of the characters and settings, along with the series main theme:
- On a cloudy day, the camera flies over Caprica City and pans down toward and into the Graystone Industries building.
- Daniel Graystone stands in a robotics factory, watching the U-87 step down and walk. The U-87 is revealed as Zoe-A.
- U-87 body parts fade into tree branches and a cemetery in the rain. Joseph Adama kneels behind an Adama tombstone, watched by Ruth, Willie Adama, and Sam Adama. Sam puts a protective hand on Willie's shoulder and pushes back his jacket, revealing a knife.
- The hand of a cemetery statue which appears to have a cut on it fades into the hand of Clarice Willow who also has a cut on her hand. Standing inside a church-like building, she clutches her cut hand to her chest, then hands an infinity symbol to Lacy Rand with her other hand.
- Daniel and Amanda Graystone walk hand-in-hand on a Caprica City rooftop at night, toward Zoe-A. The camera focuses close onto one of her eyes, until it becomes the red, humming Cylon eye.
- The redness fades into the New Cap City cityscape and the show title, CAPRICA.